If we are considering the medium at first, which is of course a Blu-Ray for this product, then you absolutely won't be disappointed. Toy Story 3 is by far and away one of the best High Def films I've watched to date and undoubtedly the most beautiful looking of the Toy Story saga. This is likely to be expected since it is a modern production, but we should also consider that the original Toy Story (1995), whilst looking sharper than ever in High Def, also reveals the older technology that produced the film. Toy Story 3, however, almost looks good enough to touch.
One of the greater aspects visually is the use of colour, and its of course amazing to see how far Pixar have come in just 15 years. Every environment has its own specific colour timing; the grass and tree leaves pierce out of the TV, but most astonishing is the scene at the Waste Depot, where the small shards of metal seem to roll on endlessly as if each one was designed and rendered separately. Along with Disney's release of 'Fantasia' earlier this month, these two films would be the only demonstrations I would personally need for Blu-Ray technology. And thats without describing the lossless soundtrack that, as with every Pixar Blu-Ray, just fills the room with a wonderful dynamic range. During the 'Freak Out' scene where Ken models his clothing, the kick-drum sounded as if it was being hit in front of me.
I'm holding back from talking too much about the film itself, given it has been talked of so much already. All I will say on this matter is that it does indeed take a different direction to the previous two films, but does so in such a way that is more bold. Toy Story 3 features more moral values and heart than its former films, and thats what won me over as it being the best of the trio. From a technical stand point, it is an entirely clever film from start to finish and manages to touch the hearts of viewers from all ages. The ending alone forced me to hold back the tears through gritted teeth!
So, whats all this "Triple Play" and "Double Play" business? Its merely a confusing effort from Disney to encourage buyers to go for the Blu-Ray format. The "Double Play" edition of Toy Story 3 features 3 Discs;
- 1 Blu-Ray [Feature Film]
- 1 Blu-Ray [Bonus Content]
- 1 DVD [Feature Film]
Therefore, the product exists so you can watch the film in either Blu-Ray or DVD. If you've moved over to Blu-Ray, then the DVD is very handy for lending to friends or for back-up!
This product is "Triple Play", which means that you not only get the 3 discs mentioned previously, but you get a forth disc that has a "Digital Copy" of the film. This 'Digital Copy' is neither a DVD nor a Blu-Ray; it is designed to be placed into your PC/Mac and imported into iTunes, where after the film has been copied from the disc, can be played from your computers hard drive, or best of all (if you actually watch films on-the-go), on iPods, iPads, iPhones, any iDevice or mobile device that supports a media player.
The 'Digital Copy' is somewhat negotiable. For an extra two pounds and the fancier cover, I'm sure many will be tempted by this 'Triple Play' product because its the top of the line, but please think again. Will the 'Digital Copy' really come in handy for you? Because after all, every computer has a DVD drive, so for the sake of watching this film on a mobile device, the extra two quid can be argued.
My personal opinion? Both PC's and Mac have software readily available that enables one to copy a film directly from a DVD to a computer. And its free... So i'm arguing that the 'Digital Copy' is somewhat a waste of a disc.
In short, this has to be not just one of the films of the year, but also one of the Blu-Rays. The extra features are plentiful, the presentation is beautiful, and I couldn't be happier with the way the Toy Story saga has been wrapped up. Top marks to Pixar for continuing to make such wonderfully original films, but shame on Disney for taking most of the credit for these efforts when, quite frankly, their own films these days don't stand up anywhere near as tall.